Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Valentine Play Date Fun

Yesterday was our much anticipated Valentine themed play date. My friend Margaret came over for the afternoon with her two adorable daughters, who are also my little kiddo's best friends. They are the first girls that ER had play dates with and we've made it a tradition to alternate having holiday play dates between the two houses. Margaret is one of my sorority sisters and best friends. She also a former kindergarten teacher, so we both enjoy coming up with fun activities for the girls.

The girls are particularly special to me and my husband because when the oldest one was a newborn, I held her and knew in my heart I was ready to have a baby too. Well yesterday that "baby" told me all about her big girl booster seat for the car, sniff...they grow up too fast! Next year she'll be starting kindergarten, it really does go by in the blink of an eye! The younger daughter is only a few months younger than ER so she's also got a piece of my heart because I've been watching her grow up along with my baby.
The girls were busy the whole time they were here. We started with a conversation heart color sorting activity and color graphing activity for the oldest, as she finished quickly - being an expert from preschool and all! For prizes, we gave them the felt cookies I made packaged in little cardboard take-out boxes.
Then it was time for some crafting fun, princess style! I had every intention of making little kits myself until I found foam tiaras and wands at the dollar spot in Michael's. What a find, the girls were so happy I think there might have been squealing:) Plus this made it a lot easier for me, one less thing to have to do. I set out the crafts and the girls went to town decorating them with self adhesive foam hearts and swirls. We also embellished mailboxes I got at the Target dollar spot with their first initial and more foam hearts.
By that time we'd worked up quite an appetite. Pizza making time! Each girl got a Pillsbury biscuit, the kind from a roll that you twist and it pops open, to mash down into a heart shape. Then they covered them in sauce and cheese. The meal was rounded out by cut up veggies with Ranch (a special cause it's a party request from my kiddo), apple slices, and white chocolate covered strawberries. Kaylee at Eat Your Heart Out inspired me to make them last minute, because her looked so good. Mine weren't as pretty, I forgot to add the food coloring!
Pizzas were always a favorite activity during classroom activities, in fact the kids would only want to make pizza as their party food. I've tried various different ways: with mini pita rounds, English muffins, roll out dough, and hands down the kids liked the biscuits from the can best. Which was fine by me, they are easy cause they come already proportioned in the can and to make them you just follow the directions on the can, it's a good party activity for a parent volunteer to do.
After lunch there has to be...cookie decorating! What kind of party would it be without an excuse to lick frosting off our fingers?
Then it was time for our last game, sticker bingo. It's another favorite activity from my teaching days. Each girl got a sheet of stickers and bingo board grid I made on my computer. They made their own board by sticking on the stickers, one in each box, as they liked. I made up a set of calling cards, by putting one of each sticker on a small piece of construction paper. Then they took turns picking up one card at a time and holding it up. A candy conversation heart was used to cover up the matching sticker on each player's board. This is a simple and fun game, because all kids love stickers! It only involved matching picture stickers so even young kids can play it. Each of the girls got a little bag with the felt necklace and hair bows that I made as the prize for playing.

In kindergarten I would pass out blank bingo boards and have the kids write a letter in each box. At the beginning of the year we'd use them match up letters, then beginning sounds - ex: I'd say apple and everyone with an A would cover it up, ending sounds, etc. You can also use it for math, first be having them match up the number and later on by writing simple addition problems on the board and anyone with the answer on their board being able to cover up. Either way, it's yet another way to get kids who don't like practicing writing a highly motivating way to write. The same concept can be adapted for many grade levels and concepts such as sight words, multiplication tables, telling time, state capitals, etc. Bingo is a very versatile learning game!

It was nearing nap time, so after good-bye hugs our guests left with their party favors in hand. It was a very busy time for everyone; ER took a nice long nap afterward! Which meant I was able to get everything all cleaned up before my DH got home from work. Whew, that was a lot for one day. I'm glad it's Margaret's turn for Easter's play date.

10 Friends Said:

*Noelle* said...

Oh!! How fun; Katie you are an awesome mom! Gosh, I wish we lived by each other; I'd have so much fun with you!!

Katie, Kevin and kids said...

Looks like a wonderful time! I am sure that will be a special memory for the girls for a long time!

Kaylee said...

What a fun party! I'm glad you made your strawberries! I can't wait until my baby girl gets a little older so I can steal all of your creative ideas!!

Miss Muffin said...

Really looks like you guys had so much fun! I think I would have been totally exhausted after hosting this party. And thanks for the idea with the biscuits out of the can. We often make pizza and my daughter loves it. I usually use the rolled-out dough - but I will definitely try the biscuits next time!

Margaret said...

The girls had a great time! We appreciate all your hard work. On errands this morning they wore the necklaces and took their purses and wands. I was mean and wouldn't let them wear the tiaras outside the car. I better start thinking about Easter. I don't think I will even come close to having such a great playdate!

Mama Krit said...

Oh how fun!!! I love the math with the Valentine's hearts. Too sweet!!

Vickie said...

That look like a busy and fun time.
They all looked like they were working' very hard. Those were all great ideas!

DomesticDivasFancy said...

What adorable little princess gals. I swear Katie, if you havent done so already...you should write a a book about Moms & childrens (learning & activities. I hope that when I become a mommy I am like you!

Momofgirls said...

What a sweet playdate with sweet girls!

Wish I could come to the next one!

Peace L♥ve Applesauce said...

Precious girls! :D

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